Speed Demon

Stats

Speed Demon
Free Spirit of Tasks
Force 5
Summoned: Sept 30, 2065
Fired: November 2, 2069

Start with 400 BP; -250 for Free Spirit
Start at Force 2
Increasing Force costs 10 BP each for 3, 4, 5; 25 BP for 6.
Attribute max = Force (except for derived attributes)
It seems like the rules I'm seeing say you have to buy up attributes above 2, also - Attribute points also cost 10 BP per except 25 BP for 6.

Force/Essence/Magic Body Agi Reac Str Cha Int Log Will Init IP Edge
5 2 2 3 3 2 2 2 2 4 (4 astral) 2 (3 astral) 3
30bp 10 10 10 BP

(Cost: 40 BP)

Powers Cost Description
Materialization free
Astral Form free
Sapience free
Banishing Resistance free
Movement 1 Power Point from edge
Wealth 1 Power Point from edge
Digital World 0.5 Power Points from edge Can view flatvid and listen to digital audio as well as view AR sprits via normal external AR equipment (e.g., goggles and gloves)
Microscopic Vision 0.25 Power Points from edge Astrally, eyes become like saucers.
Optical Magnification R1 0.25 Power Points from edge Astrally, eyes telescope out of head.
Qualities Cost Decription
Magical free Apparently spirits cant stop doing this by default!
Immunity to Normal Weapons free Applies to all weapons that are not magical (weapon foci, spells, adept or critter powers.) Innate armor rating of 2 * Magic vs. all non-magical weaponry.
Need for Speed -15 "Feelin' a little light-headed… I think I need to go for a drive.
Astral Beacon -5 "What about Astrally?" "Gah. Now he's a big GLOWING cartoon Demon."
Compulsive (2) -15 "Aw, c'mon. It was just beggin' for the spoilers, and then it needed the bigger engine for balance, and then…"
Corp Indoctrination:Aztechnology -10 "I used to work at the happiest place on Earth…" *sigh*
Thinks Cartoons Are Real -5 "…you're joking, right?" "No, he's quite serious."

(Benefit: 50 BP)

Knowledge Skills Rating Cost Notes
Hot Rods 3 free
Aztechnology Corporate Culture 2 free
Cartoons (especially Aztechnology IPs) 3 free
Engineering 4 free
Imagineering 3 free "Bringing weird things to life!"
Denver Area Go-Gangs (especially The Hotsteppers.) 2 free Neo-cowboy biker gang, mostly smuggles stuff in and around Denver. Lots of fighting over smuggling routes since it's a highly competitive market. Starting to branch out into the Denver - CaliFree run when our story starts.
Active Skills Rating Cost Description
Assensing 2 8
Perception 1 4
Sorcery (Skill Group) 2 20 Counterspelling, Ritual Spellcasting, and Spellcasting
Mechanics (Skill Group) 4 40 Aeronautics, Automotive, Industrial, and Nautical
Pilot Ground Craft 4 16
Hardware 3 12
Software 3 12

(Cost: 110 BP)

Pilot isn't a Skill Group - need individual pilot skills. Aircraft and Ground Craft, probably; maybe Watercraft as well. With 2 of these at R3, that's 24 points; with 3, that's 36.

Contacts Connection Loyalty BP Cost Notes
Hernandez family, Austin 1 5 6 The slaves he helped across the border. Now Low-class. This is a huge improvement.
Marley, Mechanic, Austin 2 2 4 "Marley's Harleys! Open 'till— Oh, god! It's you again."
Big Maul, go-ganger, Denver 2 4 6 "We still miss ya, Loudmouth. Probably good you got out when you did, though."
"Dusty," Fixer, Denver 3 4 7 "Hey, big fella! Have I got a job for you!"

(Cost: 22 BP)

Equipment Nuyen Cost Notes
Tool Kit 500 Not as good as the Corporate Tools.
Aztechnology Crawler (small) 1700 Hey, Kids! It's Azzie Ant! He walks! He talks!
Harley Scorpion (Modified) 12000 Why does it have an actual stinger?
AR flatscreen goggles & stereo headphones 250 "Do they even make those anymore!?"
AR Gloves 250 Troll-sized. Pinkie fingers removed.
Meta Link (Res 1, Sig 2) 100 "That… is sad." (Gift from Jose Hernandez.)
2 months Middle lifestyle - Bought with first use of wealth (Jan 2073, session 0)
Total Cost 14700 3 BP

(Cost: 3 BP)

Cred: ¥ 13,000

Start date: January 2073

Backstory

Speed Demon (El Diablo de la Velocidad— lit. The Devil of Speed) is a Spirit of Tasks. Namely, a Spirit of Vehicle Maintinence and Repair. He was summoned on Sept 30, 2065, by a group ritual cast by a team of Aztlan Wage-Mages, and bound for long-term service. His job was to assist a team of Imagineers with internal rapid prototyping of carnival rides. Later, he was loaned out to a division detailing cartoon-themed custom cars and rotorcraft. He was also occasionally used as a test-dummy to test-drive experimental prototypes. He took great pride in his work and loved his coworkers. There was even a rumor that the IP department was considering creating a cartoon character based off of him.

The story of his downfall began on November 2, 2069 when he was given some wrong information. He was told that the vehicle in Parking Bay 197 was due to be stripped for parts, and was allowed to perform this task unsupervised while most of the staff left to celebrate Día de los Muertos. In actuality, parking space 197 contained the Eurocar Westwind belonging to Carlos Calladera, then Acting Head of Marketing. By the time the mistake was discovered, the car was in some 27000 neatly arranged peices, 4200 of which had been neatly arranged into a go-kart capable of supporting Diablo's weight.

Needless to say, the cartoon spinoff was cancelled.

Calladera's outburst was incredibly violent. He pulled out his gun and shouted furiously at the hulking creature, repeatedly yelling "Esto despedido! Esto despedido!" You are fired. You are fired. Tears rolled down Speed Demon's face as he cowered in the corner, bawling like a frightened child. He had ruined everything and now a bigwig of The Company was mad at him.

As employees scrambled to get out of Señor Calladera's line of sight, messages were frantically sent to get the wage mages up here to deal with the problem. Suddenly, a single shot rang out. No one is sure if the gun went off by accident or if Calladera intended to shoot Speed Demon as an example. Either way, a three-round burst went into the Demon, and he vanished.

After that day, the wage mages were no longer able to summon a Spirit quite like Diablo de la Velocidad. Some say Calladera had him permanently banished from this plane, or worse, after the incident, although nobody knows who was actually tasked to cast the ritual.

The truth is far stranger than they realize. In his shame, Speed Demon went Astral after he was shot. Just then, the Day of the Dead celebrations were reaching their peak, and he was caught up in an emotionally-triggered upswell. In that moment of shame, he knew: He didn't deserve to be an Imagineer anymore. The mana that bound him into the service of Aztechnology was stripped away, and the mana that bound him to this plane of existence was bolstered.

Suddenly free for the first time ever, Speed Demon began to cry. He fled through the facility as fast as he could go, occasionally slamming into a mana barrier or a magically treated wall, which he quickly learned to treat as obstacles on a racetrack. Finally he burst into the early evening sky. His first glimpse of the Outdoors was of a glorious Aztlan Sunset. Watcher Spirits chased after him, but he outpaced them all.

The sun had been on Speed Demon's left when he'd first burst into the open sky, and he kept it there as he traveled. Away from the home he could not go back to. The only home he'd known.

Fired. He had been fired.

Speed Demon had many adventures over the following months and years. He aided a group of slaves who were fleeing Aztlan. He spent a lot of time in Austin where he learned English and ran with a go-gang for a while. He earned wiz cred fixing cars and blew it all fixing other cars. And it's just possible he may have aided and abetted a run or three. He is, after all, the consummate getaway driver.

One thing he never did was grow up.

Appearance and Personality

Speed Demon manifests as a large purple demon with big eyes and a huge mouth filled with giant white teeth. His voice and mannerisms would not be entirely out-of-place on a cartoon character. His native language is Aztlan spanish, but he considers himself "Mayan" by ethnicity. He speaks English with a gruff, loud voice and a vaguely Brooklyn accent; it's not clear how he picked this up in Austin.

Speed Demon is a highly skilled mechanic and driver. He loves using his Movement ability on any vehicle he rides in. He likes loud music, fast cars, and junk food. He has an almost compulsive obsession with speed, and needs to make a willpower test not to take apart and upgrade any vehicle to which he has physical access. He also enjoys watching Aztlan-sponsored cartoons, which he watches as if they were celebrity documentaries.

Emotionally, Speed Demon is more or less a child. He looks up to the people he hangs out with, and he usually believes what other people tell him. Despite this, he has a free spirit and doesn't like being told what to do.

Unique Flaw: Need for Speed

Driving is like food to Speed Demon. Astral projection is fine, for a while, but it's just not enough to satiate him. He must drive a vehicle at or near its top speed for at least ten minutes, at least once a week, in order to stay healthy. He has never tested this limit before, and probably has no idea that it exists, although he definitely feels the drive to drive, and does so several times per week, usually. If deprived of racing for long periods, he will begin to experience first cabin fever, then a pain in his gut which gradually grows in intensity. After a month or so of only walking and astral movement, he will be bedridden, and after one day of feverish, delusional suffering, he will vanish permanently.

20 Questions

We'll have to figure out what took on the impression of your True Name when you were freed. I'm thinking a piece of an Azzie T-bird or rotocraft, maybe, or maybe part of that Eurocar you were disassembling. Did you take it with you or leave it with Aztechnology?

Well, he wouldn't have left it behind. I don't care how gullible he is, any spirit intrinsically knows "That is Mine." I'm going to say it was the Eurocar's hood ornament, a shiny gold bust of "Hello Mr. Skull." (One of their previously top-rated characters, whose breakaway ratings and surprisingly cross-cultural appeal was attributed to decisions made by Sr. Calladera.) After taking the car apart, he probably had this in his hand, thinking of it as a "toy." He'd have fumbled and fidgeted with it when Sr. Calladera started yelling at him, and clutched it when he was doubled-over in the corner bawling. Perfect for his impression to be baked into.

Note that even without the impression, his Astral Beacon flaw means his signature would have been all over the walls of that room for a while. It's entirely possible someone from that department would recognize his taint on automotive pieces he'd produced if they happened to be at an auto show where some of his work was on display. Especially if they worked with him daily or helped summon him.

Great character. Very well-written backstory. Funny and sad. Poor cartoon spirit guy… :(

Thanks. :) Though frankly I ended up borrowing a LOT from Glottis in Grim Fandango.

Some things to maybe consider about how Speed Demon will see Jack (my character). Jack is a mage, first of all.

Speed Demon sees mages as humans who are capable of making magic for the other humans to enjoy, and he sees this as the noblest profession. The things he's seen since leaving Aztechnology have made him realize that some mages are careless with their gifts, but on the whole he considers magic to be a force for good. For lack of a better phrase, It makes the world a more magical place.

What are SD's feelings about mages, or any magic-users, for that matter. Does he have any? He loved his coworkers. I assume this means the mages who summoned them too. Did he like them more? Less? The same? Did he see them as parents? Slave masters?

Speed Demon basically thought of his summoners as his parents and teachers, his coworkers as his friends, and the project leads as his best friends and playmates. He considers the cartoon characters created by AzTechnology to be world-famous celebrities who actually exist and who probably run the company. He considers the Suits to be mysterious authority figures who work for his bosses, but who don't understand the magic of his work. Kind of like a crusty old principal or dean. He only saw them if he was getting in trouble. Until he was suddenly Free (and fired,) he had never known anything other than his job, and he *loved* his job, so no, he was Stockholm Sydrome all the way.

Oh, this is going to be amusing…

And… what are his feelings on blood magic? Has he even experienced blood magic?

None of the people involved in his Summoning and Binding Rituals used Blood Magic. Indeed, Blood Magic practitioners in general are kept far away from the kid-friendly creativity departments, so as not to offset the carefully cultivated Background Count. There is a reason Aztechnology manages to keep its public image so clean, and it's connected to the reason they're so dang great at making cartoons and consumer goods. They know how to keep their people happy.

From the focus groups, to the product designer, to the prototyping crew, to the assembly-line workers, to marketing, they literally bottle the magic of the product itself. Everyone involved in the production gets at least a little taste of it. It's infectious. And this results in deeper, more coherent products, which in turn are better received by the consumers. I suppose other megacorps try to do the same thing with BTL, but it's just not the same. Anyway, the point is, aside from some Security personnel he would never see unless something went horribly wrong, or some 'Motivational' visits which the Blood Mages would have had the good sense to conduct with employees one on one behind closed doors, Speed Demon would almost never have run into a Blood Mage, and certianly never seen a sacrifice. Probably those brief brushes in the hallway were disturbing and scary for reasons Speed Demon couldn't quite put into words. Since getting out, he's heard stories about Aztechnology and Blood Magic, but he's sure those are just nasty rumors started by Ares or somebody.

Actually, the GM just informed me that any Blood Magic stuff happens deep in the jungle, far away from the Arcology. It's possible we may have allowed Aztechnology's reputation to scare us away from some relatively simple runs in the past. Go figure.

How did he feel about being bound before being fired (from the backstory, I'm guessing it was something that made him feel safe/secure/happy/similar feel)? How does he feel about being bound today? If the Aztechnology Imagineers offered him his old job back, would he be tempted? Overjoyed?

Yes, everything about the Imaginarium was controlled to make it a happy creative work environment infused with the joy of the Azzie's entire Cartoon Legacy and the Background Count of happy coworkers. It never occurred to him that there was anything for him Outside the Archology, and if he wanted for anything, it would only have been to meet his "Bosses" one day. ("Bosses" meaning the cartoon characters he worked for, not the actual boss of Aztechnology or his department.) Any other offer of binding would be a very hard sell.

Just FYI, I wasn't suggesting it…

He knows that the world outside the Archology is not nearly as nice or happy or safe or wonderful as the place he used to work. If They wanted him back, and he believed the offer were genuine, he would be overjoyed at the prospect of going back there as if nothing had ever happened. For the most part, he likes his freedom, and he enjoys his work detailing custom vehicles. In a way it gives him the same sort of fulfillment as working back at the Imaginarium. But he knows he fucked up. And he feels like he's been kicked out of paradise. He would give almost anything to get back in, if only such a thing were possible.

Here's why I'm asking these questions. First, Jack is an hermetic mage. What does SD feel about that? Second, Jack has a Mentor Spirit, Snake. I'm not sure how familiar SD is with Snake, or Mentor Spirits in general, but if he senses something, or just asks Jack, he'll know that Snake encourages/grants expertise in Detection Spells and Spirit Binding. (Jack wouldn't actually bind SD, but SD might feel that kind of power somehow.) How does SD react to this? Does it unnerve him? Or does it come off as a sense of comforting, paternal, spiritual magnetism? This could really affect how SD would intereact with Jack.

"Oh, hey! You're like me! What's your name? Snake? Cool! Hi Snake! I'm Speed Demon! I see you have a summoner! I used to have a summoner, too! But then I got fired so I don't have one anymore. Do you have a job? You're his advisor? You help him see things? And you help him find more friends to summon? Nice! I have a job, too! I mean I lost my JOB, but I still have a purpose, like you do. I'm a mechanic! And I make cars go faster! And I make cool toys that bring the magic to life! You don't know what that means? Ha! Some Mentor! It means Imagineering, fool! Look it up on the Matrix. What do you mean you can't see the Matrix? You should ask your boss to budget you for some goggles. If you manifest, I'll let you borrow mine! What do you mean you can't understand what you're seeing? Can't you read? It's just words on a flatscreen. Where are you going? …. HI THERE! I'm Speed Demon! You should teach your Mentor Spirit to read. And then buy him some goggles!"

Also, SD might learn that Jack is apparently not well-liked by Aztechnology/Aztlan, and has one particular guy, and Aztech Blood Mage named Juan Carrera, who has it in for him. How does SD feel about this fact? What might he feel about Carrera?

"Awww, I'm sure this is all just a misunderstanding… Aztechnology is good people! Don't start with that so-called 'Blood Magic' crap, again. I worked there for four years and I never saw anything like that!"

Okay… a few questions/stuff:

First, this mentor spirit doesn't make it easier to Summon or Banish spirits, just (depending on the tradition and practitioner's view) entreat/compel long-term service.

Okay then he would probably look at it as 'hiring,' then. IIRC the spirit does get something out of it, which is why they appear when summoned in the first place. Really it would depend on first of all what's happening, second of all what mana stuff can he SEE happening, and thirdly what, if anything, do the spirits say to him?

Second, are you indicating that SD would ignore the mage when a spirit is present? Does he consider spirits to be equal to metahumans? Inferior? Superior?

Not superior, just a little more interesting and obvious? Also, Speed Demon is dual-natured when manifesting. The scenario I described assumes SD was in astral form, saw the spirit, and started talking to it. Probably the spirit immediately told you "There's a high-force spirit flying up to us… it's talking to me…" and then you started assensing. But by that point Speed Demon was engrossed in the conversation, or *trying* to have a conversation with a mostly silent spirit. If it didn't speak to him at all, he'd just be going "Hey. Heeeeeey. Hey. Spirit. Talk to me. Hello! I know you can hear me." I'm not sure how many spirits he's seen before but if they don't talk, he probably thinks of them as (non-cartoon) animals. If so he wouldn't have a problem with you keeping them as pets. Technically you can put a leash on a human but most humans don't immediately think of slavery when they see a dog on a leash. When Snake got tired of talking to Speed Demon and floated away, he decided to manifest and talk to the human.

Third (and this might not be exactly right, depending on how Chris interprets the Shadowrun cosmology), I don't think you're going to ever talk TO Snake. Snake is not going to materialize. A mentor Spirit is not a typical spirit. It might not even be a spirit at all. It might just be a creation of the magician's mind. If Chris rules that mentor spirits are real entities (which is indicated is some Shadowrun sources), they are comparable to a normal free spirit in much the same way as a Great Dragon is comparable to a human infant… They don't really run in the same circles. Actually, one of the section in Harlequin's Back, entities which are described as "the powers" seem to be mentor Spirits. In effect, they may function more like minor gods… I guess if we wanted to put it in SD's terms, then SD is a background character in an episode of Duck Tales, wheras Snake, Wolf, Fire-Bringer, Coyote, etc. are Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Bugs Bunny, and Donald Duck.

Okay, maybe SD could be the cartoon D'Argo from Farscape, Season 4… :)

Yeah I have no idea what's going on there. The fluff is (deliberately, I think,) inconsistent about what spirits are, where they come from, what they're made of, and whether they're real entities or delusions within the mind of the caster. One Shaman's Coyote can say something that conflicts with something another shaman's Coyote says, and it's left as an exercise to the player to decide whether he was making up his Coyote all along based on the stories he'd heard about Coyote, or whether Coyote is just a mischievous one indeed and is just telling his Mages what they wanna hear. I'd be very surprised if Chris ever resolved this definitively, but we can and should have him mediate our first actual encounter and our conversations so we know what all we can see and can act accordingly. The quote was designed to expose Speed Demon's proclivities more than anything else and shouldn't be treated as canon.

Fourth, now, SD would notice (I think) the single bound Fire spirit (Force 4), which looks like a serpent made of fire. SD certainly could talk with that spirit. I doubt the fire spirit's end of the conversation would be nearly as interesting as SD's, though… :)

Oh fun. We definitely need to roleplay that one.

Fifth, just FYI, Jack has some very nice, very expensive goggles he uses a lot… which would be really bad if they were somehow broken. So, definitely don't do that… :)

Oh, he wouldn't break them. He has ranks in Hardware and Mechanics. He'd just mod the case a little bit… Of course, he'd need inspiration… and I don't think he'd be uncouth enough to just grab them off of your face… Now, if you left them unattended, and Speed Demon was able to get at them, and you'd mentioned in passing that you'd always wanted to be a Knight in the Middle Ages when you were a kid… well… you might wake up to find a fancy plumed helmet on your nightstand where you could have sworn you left your goggles. Putting it on, after the sound of trumpet fanfare, you'd find that it has all the features of your goggles… or you might find a message that says "Error 107 - Unable to detect PAN - Please ensure the latest drivers are installed." because I don't have Software skills and I may have accidentally flashed the BIOS back to a factory state. But you or anyone with Software skills can fix that easily enough. Once you do, boom. Your goggles are now an awesome knight helmet. You're welcome! :D

Quotes

"What's this button do?"
"Don't touch that! There's too much metal around here."

"Contraband weapons!? This little thing? It's just a special effect! It's completely harmless!"
"To a human?"
"Oh, not to a human, no. It'd fucking KILL a human."

Aztechnology is good people! Don't start with that so-called 'Blood Magic' crap, again. I worked there for four years and I never saw anything like that!"

Memorable Rides:

  • Hernandez Family Truck (Converted a rusty old stolen pickup truck into a monster truck with a seat his size over the course of a year. Hot-rod aesthetic. Added cartoon characters just before he left. Sr. Hernandez will probably sell some of the chrome when times are tough, but the vehicle itself is extremely reliable and should last a while.)
  • "Venom," his own Harley Scorpion (Looks like he is riding an actual Scorpion monster, covered in chitinous plates. Glowing green eyes, smoke machine ground effects. More special effects coming as our story progresses.)
  • Cole's Land Rover (Gave it a playfully sloppy suspension and fake "taking gunfire" special effect, all because of Cole's GoNative Tours cover story.)

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